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The Just Student Jobs Country guide for gap year travel in South America - Chile

Where to Go - South America

Click on the links below to view information on a specific country.

Argentina | Brazil | Chile| Colombia
Ecuador | Guyana| Peru | Venezuela


Population : 15,153,797

Literacy rate : 95.2%

Life expectancy at birth : male – 72.43 yrs, female – 79.22 yrs

Infant mortality rate : 9.6 deaths /1,000 live births

Population growth rate : 1.17%

GDP growth rate : -1%

GDP per capita : £8,400

Unemployment : 9%

Inflation : 3.4%

TI index : 7.4

Climate : temperate; desert in north: cool and damp in south.

Time : Mainland and Juan Fernández Islands: GMT - 4 (GMT - 3 from second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March).

Easter Island: GMT - 6 (GMT - 5 from second Sunday in October to second Saturday in March).

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs and screw-type bulbs are used.

Country Guide

This is a nice country to visit. Chileans are fairly serious for South Americans and they take their politics very seriously. Try to stay clear of political discussions – there is a strong polarization of opinions.

This is a strange country in many ways – it takes up three pages in children’s school geography books because it is so long (4,300km) and so narrow (around 400km at its widest point). The climate is varied, ranging from extreme aridity in the north (Atacama desert) to cold, wet and windy in the south of Tierra del Fuego. The terrain goes from sea level to 6,732m at Llullaillaco close to the Argentinian frontier. The main Andean range is separated from the sea by a valley about 40 – 60km wide at 1,200m, and a lower coastal range. This valley holds most of the fertile land in Chile. Some of the best wine in South America comes from Chilean vineyards, and very good they are too. One of the country’s liberators from the Spanish was the son of an Irish immigrant – Bernardo O’Higgins. His statue is everywhere.

There is excellent skiing in the mountains and some good warm beaches in the north. Food and (particularly) drink are excellent.

Entry requirements

Apply for permits and visas before travelling. Applying for a work permit after arrival will mean that you must prove that you intend to stay for a minimum of one year. Working on a tourist visa is not advisable, on the other hand, the police are usually after Peruvian immigrant workers rather than itinerant Europeans.

Tax and Insurance

Tax runs at around 10%. Get health insurance.

Gap Year Programmes

Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Chile

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Argentina | Brazil | Chile| Colombia
Ecuador | Guyana| Peru | Venezuela

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